Regulate “okada” to enhance transport system

Ho- Participants at a day’s stakeholder consultative meeting in Ho on the use of motorcycles and tricycles for commercial purposes approved the practice, but said it should be under regulations.

The participants, drawn from Oti and Volta regions said the use of the cycles for commercial purposes provided jobs for the youth, increased access to difficult to reach communities and helping the growth of local economies.

Mr. Kweku Ofori Asiama, the Minister for Transport in a speech read on his behalf said in July 2012, when the Road Traffic Regulations came into effect, significant provisions of the regulations were implemented with a few unimplemented due to enforcement difficulties.

He said regulation 128, which prohibited the use of motorcycles and tricycles or the use of two-wheelers and three-wheelers for commercial purposes was one of the difficult provisions unimplemented, thus need for the consultation to solicit views from stakeholders on the way forward.

Mr Asiama said the implementation of the ban on “okada” business by the police in the event of traffic infractions and crime had also proven extremely difficult over the years due to the manoeuvring capabilities of the riders and the difficulty in distinguishing between commercial and private riders.

He said though “okada” business gave temporary relief to its users, the danger it posed to human life due to indiscipline and lawlessness by the riders on the road, were enormous, needing a thorough thinking through.

Reverend Johnson Avuletey, Deputy Volta Regional Minister said the need for “okada” with its attendant risks necessitated calls for a re-look at existing legislation other than a ban on its operation.

The participants, including Municipal District Chief Executives, Planning Officers, Work Engineers, Transport Officers, personnel from security services, the National Road Safety Commission and the Ghana Standards Authority said a good regulation and proper enforcement would sanitise the sector.

The consultation was under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport with support from the UKAID funded Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCAP) programme based in the United Kingdom, the National Road Safety Commission, the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service.

Source: Ghana News Agency